In this issue we were to feature Bell Farms Aquacultures’ fantastic products. Unfortunately on July 31st Bell experienced a power outage due to an electrical storm in their Indiana location. Bell Farms president Norman McCowan said in a letter to distributors that the power failure “led to the failure of the oxygen system for the building that houses our final grow-out tanks.The electrical malfunction did not allow our backup generator system to override this, and all power was lost to that building.” This caused them to have to harvest the entire stock of the next few months of their supply. Luckily the power failure did not affect their long term future stocks. McCowan said “The problem was isolated to one building and did not affect our hatchery, nursery, feed mill or processing operations. Our next generation of fish in the hatchery and fingerling stages are safe and will move through their normal growth.
”This process will take almost 3 months to realize market ready fish. This set back will not deter Bell Farms future goals. Nowman’s passion reminds all “We were founded to solve a growing global problem, to develop a cost-effective, sustainable source of protein for a crowded planet. Across America, Bell is growing rapidly by supplying our products to many of the top 100 award-winning restaurants and most of the premier grocery chains.” When Bell gets close to returning their Land Raised fish to market we will feature them again and detail their future plans and their all natural products. Check out their website to see the farm up close and get an overview of Bell Farms philosophic approach to aquaculture.
As Labor Day approaches a couple of things comes to mind. The Labor Day holiday weekend is a signal that summer is coming to an end and in turn Clam Bake season is about to begin. Although the peak of the clam bake season isn’t until late September early October when the cooler autumn weather arrives, Labor Day weekend is the unofficial start. This year advance planning for your clam bake is a must. Due to 2 consecutive extremely long and hard winters both wild and farmed clams have been affected. Cherrystone Aquafarm, the largest farmed clam operation in North America, experienced nearly a 20% loss of clams in their beds. Wild clam diggers have similar reports. We do not by any means want to discourage anybody from planning a clam bake this year, we do want you to plan well in advance to guarantee you will put on a successful clam bake. Cost will be up slightly this year as low supply and high demand bumps up costs. Tim Parsons sales director at Cherrystone Aquafarms in Virginia says the experts predict this to be a 2 to 3 year issue. It takes 3 to 5 years to raise a clam to market size depending on size, and with the loss and slow growth of the last 2 winters it will take time to get back to “normal” clam supply. We will have plenty of clams for those who plan in advance, so plan your bake and have a great time enjoying a Cleveland fall tradition.